Carter Scores 12 Points in Goodwill Games Basketball Win Over Lithuania

July 24, 1998

NEW YORK - Ole Miss senior guard Keith Carter scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field in helping lead the 1998 USA Basketball Goodwill Games Team (3-1) to an 89-76 semifinal victory over Lithuania (2-2) late Thursday night. With the win, Team USA advances to the gold medal game versus Australia (3-1) on Friday night. Game time for the championship contest is 8:00 p.m. (CT).

For the second straight game, Carter came off the bench to spark the U.S. team to victory. In 17 minutes of action, Carter scored 12 points (4-of-5 FG, 2-of-2 3-pt. FG, 2-of-3 FT) and also had three rebounds, one assist and one steal. He scored seven of his 12 points during a 2:30 span midway through the second half that gave the U.S. a 76-51 advantage with 9:09 to play. The 25-point lead was Team USA's largest of the game.

"We had the same situation against Puerto Rico," said Carter of Team USA's large second-half lead. "We might have thought about that tonight, but we've been there before and we knew what to do to bury this team. That's how far we've come. Sunday when we had that lead, we didn't do the things it took to bury them. Now we're playing with some poise and a little experience."

After the four contests in the Goodwill Games, Carter is averaging 8.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He is shooting 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-of-13) from the three-point arc in the three games.

In the first half of Thursday's game, the U.S. used a pair of 10-0 runs to build and maintain its lead. The first spurt, which was started by an Elton Brand layup, increased Team USA's advantage from 20-18 to 30-18 with 10:16 left before the half. From that point on, the U.S. defense never allowed Lithuania to get closer than seven points. The second U.S. 10-0 run gave the Americans a 40-23 lead with 4:43 remaining before the intermission.

Team USA continued its hot shooting from the field in Thursday's victory over Lithuania. In the last two games, the Americans have shot 57.3 percent from the field and 55.3 percent from the three-point line.

Thursday night's win lifts the USA's all-time Goodwill Games record to 18-6 (.750). The only team to win a medal in each of the first three Goodwill Games (gold in 1986, silver in 1990, bronze in 1994), Team USA has guaranteed itself an unprecedented fourth straight Goodwill Games medal. The U.S. will attempt to win its first gold medal in 12 years.

The bronze medal game will have Lithuania (2-2) taking on Puerto Rico (2-2) at 6:00 p.m. (CT) on Friday.

 

 

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